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Review: JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Rocks the Eccles Theater

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR plays the Eccles Theater for a limited engagement through Sunday, May 15, 2022.

Jesus Christ Superstar

The national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar rocks the Eccles Theater with its passionate, unorthodox presentation of the Passion.

The 50th anniversary tour of Jesus Christ Superstar (lyrics by Tim Rice, music Andrew Lloyd Webber) is a mounting of the West End production that won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Musical. The well-known rock opera tells the familiar story of the end of Jesus Christ's life in an unfamiliar way--largely from the perspective of his antagonists, who see him as a rabble rouser rather than the Son of God.

The rock vocals of the leading cast are astounding, with magnetic performances from Aaron LaVigne as Jesus and Omar Lopez-Cepero as Judas. Jenna Rubaii as Mary and Tommy McDowell as Peter introduce a welcome softness that offsets the animosity.

Other notable cast members include Alvin Crawford as Caiaphas, Tommy Sherlock as Pilate, Tyce Green as Annas, understudy Erick Patrick as Simon (normally played by Eric A. Lewis), and Paul Louis Lessard as Herod.

The hardworking ensemble blends beautifully and performs the frenetic choreography (by Drew McOnie) with aplomb and power.

The presentational concert staging introduces a layer of artifice that sometimes impedes the audience's connection to the characters and immersion in the story, but it is a very fitting match for the style in which the show is written, and the varied use of microphones and stands is cleverly creative and never tedious.

Director Timothy Sheader uses levels with great impact and forms arresting tableaus, bolstered by Lee Curran's striking lighting design and Tom Scutt's visionary scenic, hair and costume design. It is a world that feels both ancient and modern--at once traditional and radical.

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR plays the Eccles Theater for a limited engagement through Sunday, May 15, 2022. For tickets, call ArtTix at 801-355-ARTS (2787) or visit www.artsaltlake.org.

Photo Credit: L-R Omar Lopez-Cepero (Judas) and Aaron LaVigne (Jesus). Photo by Matthew Murphy, Evan Zimmerman.


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